When Canada was named as one of Lonely Planet’s ‘top countries to visit in 2017,’ I wasn’t at all surprised. I mean, it’s beautiful, full of friendly people and there are plenty of things to see and do. What more could you ask for? I’m lucky enough to hold a Canadian passport but am yet to make full use of it, so this post is to convince me I’m due for a visit as much as it is for you! After all, there are so many great reasons to visit Canada…
5 Reasons to Visit Canada (and why YOU should plan a visit!):
#1 The Great Outdoors!
The great outdoors: is there a better place to be? (Obviously a rhetorical question!) And besides, in Canada, you’re never far from the trail. With dozens of national parks to choose from and plenty of activities on offer, you could spend a lifetime experiencing what this country has to offer… and still not manage to see everything!
From fossil hunting, to ‘portaging’ (carrying a canoe between lakes), to hiking, if you love the outdoors, then Canada is the place for you! There are 37 National Parks in total, including the likes of Mont Tremblant and the Algonquin.
One of the most interesting things about Canada is that each region has its own specialty foods and cuisine. For example, in French Canada, Quebec, the specialty is ‘Poutine’. This is basically cheese curds on chips and covered in gravy. It may sound gross, but it’s oh so delicious!
Even the McDonald’s stores in the region stock this Quebecois specialty. (I’ll be posting a vegetarian Poutine recipe soon so stay tuned for this one!). Wherever you visit in the country, it’s safe to say that Canadian food is a must try!
#3 Seasons are amazing
Harsh winters and warm summers allow for a total range of seasons. In the winter, there are plenty of ski and snow activities across the country, whilst in the summer all of those national parks are a great place to go camping or hiking.
However, it must be said that my favourite time of the year of all is Autumn. There’s no denying that the sudden change in temperature renders the tree leaves stunning, and all of those autumnal tones are just too pretty to be missed!
#4 Canadians are just so friendly!
Spend five minutes with a Canadian and you’ll soon learn that one of their favourite words is ‘sorry’. Canadians are just so friendly and are often willing to help with directions when you require them. Coupled with the fact that Justin Trudeau is now Prime Minister, and you’ll struggle to find a friendlier group of people!
Now, I know what you’re thinking: Canada isn’t the first place that springs to mind when you think of great architecture or even reasons to visit Canada. However, consider that each region and even each city has its own unique vibe. From the unique staircases of Montreal (pictured below) to the modern architecture of Toronto (notably the CNN tower), there’s no shortage of surprising and sometimes quirky architecture to see. There’s also a fantastic architecture museum in Montreal.
#6 Road Trips!
As one of the largest countries in the world, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that you have to drive… a lot to get just about anywhere! Road trips are a must-do in the strictest sense of the word. It’s necessary to take a drive in order to visit the most remote spots and many of the national parks that the country has to offer. Road tripping means that you’re freer to plan your itinerary and squeeze in those remote locations you’ve been dreaming of…
#7 The wildlife
From the beaver to the bear, there’s no shortage of wildlife to see. I mean, how could there be with all of those national parks and great, green luscious spaces around? I remember the first time I saw a moose. We were driving in my friend’s car when one charged out of the bushes. It was massive and in a can’t-quite-believe-your-eyes-sort-of-way, it was over in a flash!
Seeing wildlife on the screen is no substitute for in real life… Canada is also one of the countries on the migration path of the Monarch Butterfly; the insect with the biggest migration each year in the entire world!
#8 Maple Syrup, Maple Flag
Of all the reasons to visit Canada, I’ve savoured my favourite ’til last. Ha, I couldn’t write this post without including at least one pun! So, last but not least, no post about Canada would be complete without at least a subtle nod to the maple leaf and syrup. There’s no shortage of maple to be found in Canada. From the tree in the forests themselves to your breakfast waffles (I also highly recommend blueberry pancakes), there’s even a maple leaf on the flag!